Interested in becoming an owner?
Below you will find the most common question we receive about becoming an owner in Plus One Flyers. If you would like to speak with our “Owner Ambassador” please fill out the form and someone will get in touch with you ASAP.
What are the advantages of leasing an airplane back to Plus One?
If managed properly and priced correctly, an aircraft should at least break even, or have a positive cash flow, and provide the owner with free or reduced cost of flying. In other words, you get to fly for free. On training aircraft, like a C172, it is typical for that airplane to show a positive cash flow because it will fly more. A high-performance airplane, like an SR22, is less likely to have a strong positive cash flow because it won’t fly as much, and it is more expensive to operate and maintain. Many owners are able to own an aircraft they would not normally be able to afford otherwise because they lease their aircraft to Plus One. There are other advantages to owning an airplane on lease back to Plus One. For one thing, you are now running an aviation business, so everything you spend on the airplane or for flying is a write off, including your own flying (training and currency). You can also take the depreciation on the purchase price of the airplane the year that you buy it, which will shelter that much income. There’s also the advantage of meeting lots of like-minded people who fly the same airplane you do. Let’s face it, it is probably cheaper in the long run to just rent an airplane that you want to fly. But most importantly, at least for me, is that I want to fly an airplane that I, myself, manage and maintain. There is a certain comfort to knowing that I have done everything right when it comes to maintenance and engine management.
Will I make a lot of money putting my airplane in the club?
Ha ha ha. Please refer to the Internet for jokes about airplanes, boats, and money.
Does owning an airplane on leaseback involve a lot of work on my part?
The owner should be actively involved in the management and maintenance of his or her aircraft. Leasing an airplane to Plus One is like running a small business – you have a product (the airplane) and customers that want to use that product and you should try your best to take care of them. You can’t be an absentee owner and expect any sort of success. However, if you pay attention to your airplane and the people that are flying it, you’ll be rewarded with a smooth running business.
How much time is involved managing an airplane on leaseback?
It depends on the airplane and how much it flies. You should expect to visit the airplane at least once a week, preferably more often, to check on the condition of the airplane and maintenance issues. Training aircraft like a C172 or Piper Archer typically fly the most hours, sometimes as much as 100 hours a month. A high-performance airplane, like an SR22, won’t fly as much, typically between 15-35 hours a month. The more the airplane flies, the higher the revenue, but there is more work and maintenance involved. For example, if the airplane flies 100 hours a month, that requires twelve 100 hour inspections a year and two oil changes a month.
Does the club maintain the aircraft?
No. The owner is solely responsibility for the maintenance of the aircraft. Plus One does not maintain the aircraft.
Am I required to have a 100 hour inspection every 100 hours?
Not technically. However, it is highly recommended. If you do not do a 100 hour inspection, you should do 50 hour safety inspections with every oil change.
Will the airplane get more wear and tear in the club?
Yes. If your aircraft on leaseback flies 30 hours a month, and you personally have been flying three hours a month, your aircraft will suffer wear and tear at 10 times the rate that it did before. The club has insurance for damage that is above and beyond normal wear and tear, but you can expect normal wear and tear to be accelerated, and normal wear and tear is not covered by insurance. It is important to consider this when setting the hourly rate.
Does the club set the rate for the airplane?
No. You, the owner, set the rate for the airplane. It is important to consider all costs associated with ownership and operation, so you’re not surprised at the end of the year with a loss. It is important to budget for unexpected expenses and repairs. You can see what the other owners are charging for each airplane on the club website. Plus One will provide you with an operational analysis spreadsheet that will help you understand some of the estimated costs of ownership and potential return on investment.
What is the club management fee?
The club passes on a fee of 2.5% of the net rental income to cover the credit card fee charged by our bank.
Does Plus One profit from the aircraft leaseback?
Plus One is a Not-For-Profit 503(c) corporation. The club tries to provide the best experience for the owners and the members while keeping costs as low as possible. Member dues fund the club operations budget. The budget is analyzed every year and dues are raised our lowered accordingly.
Does the club insure the airplane, or do I have to have my own insurance?
The club insures the entire fleet under a commercial policy. The insurance is more expensive than you would pay for private ownership, but it is very comprehensive, and you can insure your hull for any fair market value within reason. The club will provide you with a spreadsheet that will help you estimate what your insurance will cost.
Can I fly my own airplane whenever I want?
Technically yes, but you need to use the scheduling system and reserve your flights like everyone else. An owner does have the right to supersede someone else’s reservation for maintenance or emergency issues, but it is against club policy, and just bad business, to erase somebody else’s schedule just to go to Catalina to have a burger with your friends. The owner can set a private owner rate that is lower than the member rate, or even zero cost for owner reservations.
How do I get paid?
The members pay for each flight using our scheduling system. The club collects a credit card payment after every flight and closes out each aircraft’s flying at the end of each calendar month. The club charges 2.5% of the total credit card charges and provides a statement that shows the number of total hours flown, maintenance hours, average number of hours flown per month, year to date figures, and deductions for insurance and member paid expenses, like fuel and oil. The statement shows gross income, the deductions, and net income. We will provide you with a sample statement so you can see what to expect. The net amount from the lease will be automatically deposited in your checking account by the end of the following month at the latest.
How long is the lease period?
Seven days. This was designed purposefully so that the income from the rental is active income, not passive income, which presents a better tax situation for most owners. We highly recommend you seek the advice of a tax professional before entering into a lease with Plus One. The lease automatically renews every seven days. In the event that Plus One terminates the lease, we will give you notice so that you can remove your plane from the club. In the event you decide to remove your plane in the club, you just need to give the club seven days’ notice.
Will the club help me run my business?
Yes, up to a point. The club will put your airplane on the website and show you how to upload pictures and describe your airplane, provide you an email list for initial marketing, and will make an announcement that your aircraft is in the club. The club manages all scheduling and payment collection. Owners are responsible for maintenance, tiedown, and any marketing. It’s up to you to market your airplane and build your clientele from the club members and instructors. Many of the other owners will be happy to talk to you about their experience and give you advice.
What is the best airplane to lease to Plus One?
An airplane that you want to fly yourself! Having said that, the more common the aircraft, the more it will fly, and the easier it will be to attract customers. An exotic airplane with a specialized checkout may not fly enough to make it worthwhile to put it in the club. The club has had bad luck with Mooneys and Light Sport Aircraft. Both had numerous RLOC accidents, so we discourage doing a leaseback with either.
Do I need to form an LLC to own the airplane?
That is a personal decision and should be made after consulting with your attorney and tax planner. Many of our owners own their aircraft in an LLC, even if it is a single member LLC. One advantage to an LLC is if you add or subtract partners, you do not have to change the title of the aircraft and pay state sales tax, you just amend the LLC operating agreement. On the other hand, the LLC adds expense and complexity to the picture, because you have to pay $800 a year to the state of CA, and you have to prepare and file LLC tax returns. Plus One will lease your aircraft if it is titled in an LLC or if it is in title to an individual.
What happens in the event that a member has an accident in the airplane that causes major damage?
The club has an insurance deductible plan, (called the IDP), which is a form of self-insurance to help owners and members. The IDP will pay the owner a certain amount per day to help offset costs while the aircraft is down. The repair cost from the accident will be covered by the commercial insurance policy. The IDP is a major benefit to the owners and members, and we highly encourage you to become familiar with this plan.
What resources are available to me as an owner?
The Operations and Safety Officers are always available to help. The club website provides a lot of information for the owner, from monthly statements to email lists to contact the members who have flown the airplane. Also, many of the other owners would be happy to talk to a new owner about their experience.
Do I need to be an active pilot to lease an aircraft back to Plus One?
Not technically, but it is highly recommended that an owner fly his or her own airplane on a regular basis to stay familiar with it and to keep up with maintenance and other issues. Anyone can be a member of Plus One, but you will not be granted flying privileges unless you have a current medical (or Basic Med), and have met the minimum requirements for being an active pilot as outlined in the club operational rules.
Do I need to be a member of Plus One to lease an aircraft to Plus One?
Yes. However, an advantage to being an owner is that one owner for every aircraft can have their dues waved every month.
As an owner, how do I contact the people that have flown my airplane or will be flying my airplane?
Every member’s contact information is in our scheduling system and is available to the owners. You can always see who has scheduled your airplane.
What if there are recurring ADs or other regular required maintenance due on my aircraft? How do I manage that?
The club scheduling system can be programmed to remind the owner and the members about recurring ADs, ELT and pitot-static inspections, oil changes, etc., so that the aircraft is not flown when it is out of compliance.
What happens if I think a member has been operating the aircraft in an unsafe manner?
Immediately report something like that to the operations and safety officers, and the club will handle it. The club requests that owners do not contact members directly over issues involving FAR violations or unsafe operation of the aircraft.
What is the safety record of Plus One?
With 200+ aircraft, 2200+ members, 3000+ operations a month, Plus One has seen our share of incidents and accidents. However, the safety record inside of Plus One is better than the general aviation safety record outside of Plus One. We take safety very seriously, work tirelessly to educate the members and CFIs, and we work closely with the FAA to make sure our club operations and aircraft are operated safely and in compliance with the FARS.
Can any member fly my airplane? What are the checkout requirements?
It depends on the airplane. Plus One has comprehensive check out procedures to make sure the members are competent and safe in any aircraft they schedule. The checkout and flight time requirements are higher for a complex retract than for a trainer. The checkout and flight time requirements each aircraft are listed on the club website.
As an owner, can I limit who flies the airplane, or pick certain people that can or cannot fly the airplane?
As an owner, you can work with the safety officer and operations officer to create minimum qualifications and standards for the checkout requirements. But once a member has gone through the checkout, and meets the minimum requirements, the member may fly the airplane. We cannot discriminate against some club members if they are qualified and checked out to fly the airplane
Can someone who is not a member fly my airplane? For example, if I take my brother flying, and he’s a pilot but not a Plus One Member, can he fly the airplane?
Once you lease your aircraft to Plus One, only qualified Plus One members may operate as pilot in command.
Where will my airplane be parked?
The owner is responsible for arranging for tiedown space or a hanger. This is something to consider early in the process.
If I place my aircraft at a certain airport, for example, Montgomery Field, can I move it to another airport later?
Yes, but keep in mind your customer base may not move with you.
Does Plus One wash the aircraft?
Not anymore. That was an old policy, and now that there are over 200 aircraft at three different airports, Plus One can no longer manage the washing of all the aircraft. Therefore, each owner is responsible for keeping his or her aircraft clean and stocked with paper towels or anything else that needs to be in the airplane. Plus One can refer an owner to several reputable aircraft cleaning services.
How much will my airplane fly? What if my airplanes flies too much or too little?
Owners can control the amount of flying by managing the schedule and blocking out time for maintenance or for personal use to slow down the flying, or the owner can raise the rate, which would also slow down the number of reservations. If the airplane is not flying enough, the owner can lower the rate for an introductory period, or send out marketing emails, or have an open house, or post promotional material on the club Facebook page. The more an airplane flies, the more maintenance it requires, so there is a happy medium where the airplane flies enough to keep the owner happy but not so much that there is too much maintenance or wear and tear.
How do members get access to the airplane once it is on lease back?
For basic training airplanes that are kept on the ramp, Plus One will re-key the airplane to a standard club key. The standard club key is issued to all members upon joining. For more specialized aircraft, an owner may not want to re-key the aircraft, and issue keys specific to that aircraft individually to members. Some owners like to meet each member who is interested in the aircraft before they hand them a key. The club scheduling system will prevent pilots who are not qualified or checked out from scheduling the aircraft.
As an owner can I see who is flying the airplane?
Yes. You will have access to Schedulemaster, our scheduling system, and you can see all the pilots who have flown your aircraft in the past and all the pilots who have reserved your aircraft in the future. You will also have access to the email addresses and phone numbers for everyone who flies your aircraft.
Is the club operated under part 91 of the FARs?
Yes. The club aircraft can only be flown for pleasure by the members, or for training. It is absolutely forbidden that any member operate sightseeing, passenger ride sharing, or any other commercial operation “for hire” with club aircraft. That is a violation of both the FARs and club policy. Any member acting in violation of this policy will be immediately terminated.
Tell me again why anybody wants to do this?
Many owners find that they can own and operate an airplane that would be outside their budget otherwise. Some owners want to reduce the cost of aircraft ownership. There are tangible tax benefits if you need to shelter other income. And if you manage your business properly and price your airplane correctly and spend a little time and effort on marketing and customer relations, you may find you have a nice profit at the end of the year, after flying your airplane for free.
Is there someone that I can talk to about all this?
Yes! Fill out the form at the top of this page and you will receive additional information about the ownership process as well and our Owner Ambassador, Tom Reid, will reach out to you.